At the beginning of February 2022, a breaking news story was published in the field of fusion. JET, the largest experimental fusion facility currently in operation, has set a new record reaching 59MJ of energy in 5 seconds.
This represents more than double of what was achieved in 1997 in the same facility. But beyond the numerical aspect, this achievement is especially important as it confirms the steps towards ITER’s operation, the experimental facility which we hope that will uncover the secrets of a stable and profitable fusion reactor. Progress is being made and the best indicator of this is the good news received in the past months on fusion research.
In a few decades, we will look back to the year 2022 as the moment when the race towards fusion began.
Both public investment in approximately 100 experiments in the world and private investment in another 20 experiments and the industry behind it seem to be ready for the start of this race.
For those of us working in the fusion programme, it is a moment of pride, but for those also involved in IFMIF-DONES, the infrastructure with the aim to define which are the critical materials to be used in future fusion reactors, it is a great responsibility because IFMIF-DONES does not participate in the race towards fusion. IFMIF-DONES must be at the finishing line before anyone else, otherwise they will have to wait for the materials that will allow the building of future fusion reactors.
This is a unique opportunity for Spain to become a key player in the future.
Now is the time.
Moises Weber, one of the engineers involved in IFMIF-DONES España, explains the milestone achieved in fusion in the following VIDEO